Looking at various old newspaper cuttings about Trewins; I came across one from a local paper which said “Watford is the best place in England to trade in.” The newspaper was quoting from an article in the partnership Gazette where the General Manager, Mr Van der Pant had given his reasons for Trewins success.
Having got my attention, I wanted to read the original Gazette story. A quick request later – there it was – in an e-mail, courtesy of the partnership archives, a page dated 7 October 1972.
Nearly had a stroke
The article, headed, “Trewins are in fighting trim”, starts off by saying “The General Manager of Trewin Brothers nearly had a stroke …”. Alan van der Pant had returned from holiday and discovered that two other branches “had a higher cumulative percentage increase than Trewins.” Since 1965 Trewins had ended each trading year with the highest percentage increase among the department stores. The shock was understandable!
Mr Van der Pant then continues to say why Trewins is doing so well. The stores position in an expanding town with a wealthy catchment area, little unemployment, close transport links and plenty of car parks as well as new shops opening near by.
“So this is a good area to trade in. I know of no better in England.”
The article goes on to say that “Trewins seems to be a classic case of Partnership trading policies working out in practice. They were in a backwater and yet, without advertising, their trade increased tremendously; this must have been by word of mouth recommendation – of their service, assortment, and prices.”
I can’t think of a better compliment than that.